How to format your references using the Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology citation style

This is a short guide how to format citations and the bibliography in a manuscript for Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology. For a complete guide how to prepare your manuscript refer to the journal's instructions to authors.

Using reference management software

Typically you don't format your citations and bibliography by hand. The easiest way is to use a reference manager:

PaperpileThe citation style is built in and you can choose it in Settings > Citation Style or Paperpile > Citation Style in Google Docs.
EndNoteFind the style here: output styles overview
Mendeley, Zotero, Papers, and othersThe style is either built in or you can download a CSL file that is supported by most references management programs.
BibTeXBibTeX syles are usually part of a LaTeX template. Check the instructions to authors if the publisher offers a LaTeX template for this journal.

Journal articles

Those examples are references to articles in scholarly journals and how they are supposed to appear in your bibliography.

Not all journals organize their published articles in volumes and issues, so these fields are optional. Some electronic journals do not provide a page range, but instead list an article identifier. In a case like this it's safe to use the article identifier instead of the page range.

A journal article with 1 author
Eberhard WG. Spider manipulation by a wasp larva. Nature 2000;406:255–6.
A journal article with 2 authors
Ruskov R, Tahan C. Quantum Processing. Catching the quantum sound wave. Science 2014;346:165–6.
A journal article with 3 authors
Terray A, Oakey J, Marr DWM. Microfluidic control using colloidal devices. Science 2002;296:1841–4.
A journal article with 7 or more authors
Thier P, Dicke PW, Haas R, Barash S. Encoding of movement time by populations of cerebellar Purkinje cells. Nature 2000;405:72–6.

Books and book chapters

Here are examples of references for authored and edited books as well as book chapters.

An authored book
Haupt RL. Timed Arrays. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc; 2015.
An edited book
König A, Dengel A, Hinkelmann K, Kise K, Howlett RJ, Jain LC, editors. Knowledge-Based and Intelligent Information and Engineering Systems: 15th International Conference, KES 2011, Kaiserslautern, Germany, September 12-14, 2011, Proceedings, Part III. vol. 6883. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2011.
A chapter in an edited book
Wojnarski M, Stawicki S, Wojnarowski P. System for Automated Evaluation of Algorithms in Repeatable Experiments. In: Szczuka M, Kryszkiewicz M, Ramanna S, Jensen R, Hu Q, editors. Rough Sets and Current Trends in Computing: 7th International Conference, RSCTC 2010, Warsaw, Poland, June 28-30,2010. Proceedings, Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer; 2010, p. 20–9.

Web sites

Sometimes references to web sites should appear directly in the text rather than in the bibliography. Refer to the Instructions to authors for Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology.

Blog post
Davis J. “Cuddle Hormone” May Help Chimpanzees Wage War. IFLScience 2017. (accessed October 30, 2018).


This example shows the general structure used for government reports, technical reports, and scientific reports. If you can't locate the report number then it might be better to cite the report as a book. For reports it is usually not individual people that are credited as authors, but a governmental department or agency like "U. S. Food and Drug Administration" or "National Cancer Institute".

Government report
Government Accountability Office. Curriculum Case Studies Are of Questionable Quality but Helped Precollege Curriculum Activities. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 1977.

Theses and dissertations

Theses including Ph.D. dissertations, Master's theses or Bachelor theses follow the basic format outlined below.

Doctoral dissertation
Accortt EE. Frontal alpha electroencephalography (EEG) asymmetry as a risk factor for pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD); a psychophysiological and family history approach. Doctoral dissertation. University of Arizona, 2009.

News paper articles

Unlike scholarly journals, news papers do not usually have a volume and issue number. Instead, the full date and page number is required for a correct reference.

New York Times article
Hollander S. Staten Island Wins Championship of Class A League Again. New York Times 2002:D3.

In-text citations

References should be cited in the text by sequential numbers in square brackets:

This sentence cites one reference [1].
This sentence cites two references [1,2].
This sentence cites four references [1–4].

About the journal

Full journal titleSynthetic and Systems Biotechnology
AbbreviationSynth. Syst. Biotechnol.
ISSN (print)2405-805X

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